London, United Kingdom
October 11, 2005
Our "deluxe double" room had the biggest bed I have ever slept in, and a balcony with a great view over the water to the Royal Palace and Stockholm’s old town (Gamla Stan). It also had a cot for Gioia, a friendly teddy bear for her parents, and a great big fruit basket for all of us. It was absolutely quiet, and a great place to set up camp for occasional forays out into the tourist traps of Stockholm.
The public rooms of the Grand are impressive. The old "Winter Garden" – with arcaded balconies and turrets – has been glassed over, but the gilded-and-mirrored "Spegelsalen" is quite spectacular. Both were set up for company conferences when we were there. We also enjoyed the interesting original artwork along the corridors linking the hotel’s 300 rooms. Most of the hotel’s bedrooms do not overlook the water, and the hotel is expanding into a neighbouring building during 2006.
We didn’t eat lunch or dinner at the hotel, but we did see plenty of well-dressed people looking hungry. We did, however, enjoy three spectacular breakfasts at the hotel’s Veranden restaurant (please see separate journal entry).
The hotel’s location was perfect for us. Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s big shops, the Central train station, and the laid-back, leafy island of Skeppsholmen are all in very easy walking distance. In addition, the "Stockholm Tours" sightseeing boats depart from their moorings directly in front of the hotel.
On the whole, Gioia enjoyed her stay at the Grand Hotel. The hotel staff was wonderful, the hotel provided us with a pram, and the thick walls meant that our neighbours couldn’t hear us in the middle of the night. Burping Gioia while looking out at the Royal Palace and the lights twinkling on the water was as pleasant as it could be. Like Paul Newman and Elke Sommer in "The Prize," we’re not sure if the king could see us. Or if he would have minded.
From journal Stockholm – "The Prize” worth winning